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Alan Blackwell

What we call common sense—the body of widely accepted truths—is, just as Heidegger and Nabokov thought, a collection of dead metaphor. Truths are the skeletons which remain after the capacity to arouse the senses—to cause tingles—has been rubbed off by familiarity and long usage. After the scales are rubbed off a butterfly’s wing, you have transparency, but not beauty—formal structure without sensuous content. Once the freshness wears off the metaphor, you have plain, literal, transparent language—the sort of language which is ascribed not to any particular person but to ‘common sense’ or ‘reason’ or ‘intuition’

Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. Cambridge University Press, New York. 1989, p. 152

Dead metaphor as used by Lakoff and Johnson in Metaphors we live by, 1980, but as well by Nietzsche in 1873, “illusions of which we have forgotten that they are illusions”.

Thanks goes to Alan F. Blackwell to have unraveled the discussion of metaphor in The Reification of Metaphor as a Design Tool.

(Picture is images of Alan Blackwell)


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